I had a few days off and took the opportunity to go on a short getaway to snowy winter wonderland. The snow in Uppsala and most of Stockholm and southern Sweden is rubbish. To find some, good quality snow, one needs to drive 5 hours west to Norway. Regions north of Mora and places such as Sälen and Stöten seem to have a decent quality snow. I stayed at an STF hostel called Sälens Vandrarhem, close to Stöten. Nice, cozy place and the owner is a fun dude. At this time of the year, the hostel is literally empty and it was all mine. I drove a bit into Norway to the little town of Ljørdalen. The town centre is basically 2 houses, one of which is a supermarket and the other is a church. The snow in Norway is much nicer. Heavier and more consistent. The landscape is absolutely amazing.I also saw a whole herd of Moose wandering about. Unfortunately, they got away before I could get my camera. This place is excellent for winter photography.
I took a short vacation to Kerala, India to visit my family and to rejuvenate myself.
It was mostly visiting relatives, excessive eating and dealing with heat, humidity and traffic. On the bright side, the ayurvedic massages can be quite relaxing. This also presents opportunities to enjoy some local cuisine. I do enjoy Indian food, but South Indian food tend to be quite spicy and it can be challenging to find food that agrees with my taste buds. I usually eat a lot of non-veg, but here in Kerala, there is so much diversity in vegetarian food that I would happily become a vegetarian.
The mountainous regions of Kerala, such as Idukki district is one my favourite destinations to escape the heat and pollution of cities. The route is scenic and if you are lucky, you might even get to see some wildlife as a lot of Idukki is part of the Western ghats nature reserve and national parks. This is also an ideal location for stargazing as there is minimal light pollution. As a plus, there tends to be less mosquitoes in the mountains.
Autumn in Fulufjällets National park in western Sweden.
Fulufjällets national park on the border with Norway is a great location for a weekend away in nature. The place is charming with vast meadows, forests, lakes, streams, mountains and idyllic houses. Fulufjället is known for its well preserved primeval forests, wildlife and unique geology. Fulufjället is also home to Sweden’s highest waterfall; Njupeskär falls and oldest tree; Old Tjikko. The location is also popular for winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and ice climbing on the Njupeskär falls. The park has an attractive and informative visitor centre (naturum) with user information including maps and guides. The park has wind shelters and camping sites. Part of the national park is located in Norway.
This is Björn. He is a 6 month old Norwegian Forest Cat. Björn is energetic and playful. He is very fluffy and cuddly. He likes human company. He is one those strange cats that like belly rubs. His sleeping spot is the hammock on the play tower. But he can also be naughty around the house. Sometimes, he does go hyper and runs around the house. He attacks toilet paper rolls like there is no tomorrow. Sometimes he can be stupid enough to fall out through the window. Other times, he can be sharp enough to spot a fly on the window from meters away. He likes to help with the gardening. He also likes to help with things when not needed. But, he is generally good company to have around the house.
Hamra national park (NP) is one of sweden’s nine oldest national parks, located at the western edge of the Gävleborg municipality (Kommune). We took a 2-day trip in the last week of August. The drive from Uppsala to Hamra takes about 4.5 hours. We stayed at the STF accomodation in the nearest village called Fågelsjö. The house is nice and comfy with several bedrooms and a pretty lawn. This was the off-season which meant that we had the whole house to ourselves. Hamra NP is a short drive away from Fågelsjö.